Do Not Sleep On The Unique Offerings At This Year's Dallas VideoFest and Lone Star Film Fest.
Music festivals around Dallas are pretty common. We've discussed that plenty around here.
But what most people — well, outside of the most fanatic of local film aficionados — may not realize is that Dallas is too fairly oversaturated with film fests. There are small ones, there are big ones and there are feisty ones.
They're not all great. But some of them are — and October and November represent a particularly fruitful time for them thanks to two fest in particular.
First up, we have the 28th Dallas VideoFest, which runs from October 12 through 18. This festival is spread across various venues for special event screenings (including the Texas Theatre), but is mostly based out of the Angelika. It's the Dallas film festival you go to if you're into esoteric and weird movies: Most of these features are not super commercial at all, and the documentaries cover topics like the abuse of power by homeowner associations. Part of the fun is to go in blind to a movie and find a new favorite. A few years ago I saw one of my favorite films of the year, Leviathan, at VideoFest. The point is that there's gold in them there hills.
A few weeks later, the ninth annual Lone Star Film Festival returns to the Sundance Square in Fort Worth from November 5 through 8. We've talked in the past about how well-programmed this festival is, and this year's go appears to be no different as a few of the movies screening are already garnering Oscar buzz.
Below, let's take a look at the events we're most excited about seeing at these two forthcoming fests.
Metropolis. This special screening will come as a collaboration between VideoFest, the Dallas Chamber Symphony and SMU's Division of Dance. Apart from the privilege of getting to see one of the best and most influential expressionist German science-fiction movies of all time, there will also be a new score for the movie composed by Brian Satterwhite with special choreography by the SMU group. To say that this will be a one-of-a-kind experience is an understatement.
Anomalisa. A Charlie Kaufman movie is always cause for sad celebration (seriously, his movies are always total bummers) and Anomalisa is no exception. I actually just saw this one at Austin's Fantastic Fest — and it completely blew me away. The film tells the story of a depressed man's trip to a call center customer service convention in Ohio. (I told you it was depressing!) From there, audiences are immersed in a beautifully mundane world, where everyone except the protagonist sounds and looks like Tom Noonan. Told through amazing stop-motion animation, this movie is a meditation on love, attraction, depression and happiness. It is simply a must-see.
The Dawn of Technicolor. Only the biggest movie nerds need apply for this one. Not a movie per se, this one is rather an educational presentation. It's hosted by David Pierce, the man that literally wrote the book on the subject and will feature “rare photos and behind-the-scenes stills, original correspondence, and a significant amount of recently discovered film material that will be presented on high-definition digital clips from original archive prints.” Sign. Me. Up.
Carol. Starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett, Carol tells the story of young department store clerk who falls in love with an older woman. Did I mention this was in the '50s? My bad. Anyway, it is, and you can imagine that the social norms weren't quite as progressive as they are now. So, yes, their relationship will be tested. This movie has Oscar buzz written all over it and has already garnered praise from colleagues of mine who've seen it at Cannes and the New York Film Festival. A very nice coup for this fest.
Mojave. This is an exciting one. For starters, it boasts Oscar Isaac, Mark Wahlberg and Walton Goggins in its cast. It's also a small, character-driven thriller where a suicidal artist encounters a violent man. Set in the Mojave desert, it looks to be super tense and quiet film with an explosive climax.
Back in Time. As geek culture continues to dominate the mainstream, I've grown more and more wary of the nostalgia that comes with it. It leads people to say crazy things like “The Goonies is a good movie,” which, really, it isn't. But one of the franchises that still holds up today for old and new audiences is, of course, Back to the Future. Interviewing the cast and crew of the trilogy, this documentary looks at the making of the movies and their impact in pop culture. While I expect a lot of unanimous praise, the behind-the-scenes segments should prove interesting.
So, there you go — that's our preview of what both of these unique festivals have to offer. We still encourage you to check their respective websites, to check out their lineup and to maybe go see a movie or two as part of their offerings. Dallas may have its fair share of film fests, but it's adventurous ones like these two that really deserve your support and attention.